After 28 years, THIS pioneering messaging platform bids adieu

ICQ, one of the pioneers of instant messaging, is bidding farewell after nearly 28 years of service.

Top Indian News Desk
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Courtesy: X/@AutismCapital

ICQ, standing for 'I seek you,' emerged in November 1996, making it one of the earliest instant messaging platforms in the digital world. While it may seem young in human terms, among its digital counterparts, it's considered ancient, predating well-known platforms like Yahoo Messenger and AOL Instant Messenger.

Sadly, ICQ's journey is coming to an end. Its official website announced that the platform is scheduled to shut down on June 26, marking the end of an era for many users who have relied on it for years.

A revolutionary concept

Launched by Israeli company Mirabilis, ICQ revolutionized communication by offering a free platform where users could message each other using unique identification numbers. It also introduced features like a searchable user directory and the iconic status icon, symbolized by a daisy, indicating a user's availability for chat.

Peak popularity

ICQ's success didn't go unnoticed, leading to its acquisition by AOL in 1998 for a whopping $407 million. By 2001, it boasted over 100 million registered users, reaching its peak of popularity.

As time went on, ICQ's user base dwindled, eventually leading to its acquisition by Russian firm Digital Sky Technologies, now known as VK. Under new management, ICQ transitioned into a mobile messaging system akin to WhatsApp or Telegram, allowing users to form groups and make video calls.

Final goodbye

Despite efforts to adapt, ICQ's days are numbered. VK has announced the complete cessation of support for the platform. Users are encouraged to switch to VK Messenger for personal chats and VK WorkSpace for professional communications. With just seven words, ICQ's demise was succinctly declared on its website: "ICQ will stop working from June 26."